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By Theophilus Francis Rodenbough

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Additional resources for Afghanistan and the Anglo-Russian dispute; an account of Russia's advance toward India

Sample text

The Russian system of transport is in a very experimental and unsatisfactory state. It is the only army which provides regimentally for the personnel and materiel of this department. In each regiment is a non-combatant company, in which all men required for duty without arms are mustered. All military vehicles required for the regiment are under charge of this company. The intention of the system now developing is to reduce the quantity of transportation required. ] Besides the wagons and carts used for ordinary movements of troops, Russia will, in Afghanistan, depend upon the animals of the country for pack-trains and saddle purposes.

The men are recruited, armed, and instructed by the Government. Recruits are required to attend thirty drills, and afterward not less than nine drills annually. The volunteer force is composed of 278 battalions of infantry, 46 brigades of garrison artillery and 15 battalions of engineers. The Yeomanry Cavalry are equipped as light cavalry, drill eight days per year, and are subject to call in case of riot and insurrection, when each man with a horse receives seven pence a day. There are thirty-eight regiments.

Every thing has been made subordinate to comfort and convenience. Woollen or linen bandages are worn instead of socks. The entire outfit of the soldier weighs about fifty pounds. The Guards, alone, are yet permitted to wear their old uniform with buttons. The arms of the Turkestan troops are mixed Berdan and Bogdan rifles. The field clothing is generally linen blouse with cloth shoulder-straps, chamois-leather trousers, dyed red, and a white kepi. Officers wear the same trousers in the field. Cossacks wear gray shirts of camel’s hair.

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